Thursday, February 2

How it will work and who will benefit from the free Renfe Cercanías and Media Distancia trains


Free trains between September 1 and December 31. This is one of the measures that Pedro Sánchez announced during the Debate on the State of the Nation. But what are those trains that we can use for free and what will we have to do?


The announcement comes as an alternative measure to the use of fossil fuels for transportation. In addition to the already extended subsidy for gasoline and diesel, train users will be able to travel completely free on Cercanías, Rodalies (Catalonia) and Media Distancia vehicles.

In Europe, Germany It has already taken a measure similar to the Spanish one. The difference is that, there, the price to pay is a flat rate of nine euros per month. The measure has triggered the average number of passengers but, yes, its train network is much denser than the Spanish one.

All about free trains in Spain

In Spain, the trains that will be free are those that depend on the State. Just a few days ago, on June 27, a 50% reduction in multi-trip tickets for state trains was announced.

Now, the subsidy is extended and, finally, a complete gratuity has been announced for multi-trip tickets (more than two) on the Cercanías, Rodalies, in Catalonia, and Media Distancia trains, all managed by Renfe.

These free multi-trip tickets are those that do not correspond to single tickets (only one way) or round trip tickets. In other words, in Cercanías, monthly subscriptions or those that contemplate numerous trips in a certain number of days will be fully subsidized. Here, each region has its own specifics and the savings will vary between different communities.

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In the Middle distanceusers will be able to travel for free if they purchase trips in the following subscriptions:

  • Regional 10 Bonus
  • Card 10 Simple
  • Card 10 Free
  • Regional Monthly Subscription
  • Monthly Card 40 Simple
  • Monthly Card 40 Free
  • Plus Card
  • Plus 10 Card
  • Plus Card 10-45
  • Plus 10 Student Card

Therefore, the long distance and, of course, the AVE are excluded. Media Distancia is a network whose lines provide services less than 300 kilometers away. Its available lines are the ones you can find in the following images and that you can see in greater detail on the map that Renfe has on its website.

Map Andalusia

Map Andalusia

Map Levante

Map Levante

The measure, as collected in Motorpasión, will mainly benefit those who are already users of Cercanías, Rodalies and Media Distancia but, above all, the former. In 2019, Renfe registered 1,123,989 travelers in Cercanías and Rodalies. The Medium Distance was the least used type of transport, with just 86,196 passengers.

Schienenzeppelin, the railway zeppelin: a futuristic mega-train that exceeded 220 km/h 90 years ago

In addition, from Motorpasión they also highlight that Cercanías is not available throughout the territory and that a large part of the bulk of its use is concentrated in Madrid and Barcelona, the cities that have better infrastructure. Cercanías and Rodalies are available in Asturias, Catalonia, Bilbao, Cádiz, Madrid, Málaga, Murcia, Alicante, Santander, San Sebastián, Seville, Valencia and Zaragoza.

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